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Nostalgia Is Like Herpes

The city is calm tonight
Only rustling leaves
and splayed knees
creaking between dumpsters
Stranded and dangling
From piss stained blankets
Sleeping on sidewalks
Like crime scene outlines
Drawn by angry chalk
of the poor and addicted

Dreaming of better days
Back when they were bankers
plumbers, dads, and teachers
Shopkeepers, wives, harpists
Married maybe even still in love
Back when they held parties
baked cookies, took baths
Smelled floral like the scent
of fancy perfume sample ads
lodged between pages
of better lives through yoga
Organic gardening, and Mademoiselle

Back in the days of before
Still soldiering through fortune
Back when they sent kids to college
And child support to divorcees
And knit dog sweaters for their pets
Back when music still ruled
Like a Rush concert
Or the tangled lullabies
Of cowboy boots, smoky bars
And the spirit of honky tonk
Rubbed up against jukeboxes
Belt buckles and back seats
Back when people smiled
in the time of first kisses
Hosted large public gatherings
During the time of Technicolor
And Tricky Dicky’s blathering
Back when Elvis swung hips
Nothing was sung online
Except Bob
Who was the first
to plug in

Nostalgia is like herpes
The more we get screwed
The bigger the chance
We’ll find a reminder of it later
If I can just get through this….
I’ll see my Mom again
I won’t have to wear a mask again
I’ll dance at a crowded bar again
I can take a shower again
I’ll have a house again
I’ll have a job again
Life will be normal

“Nevermore”

Quoth the cunning blackbird
I watch her gracefully land
around the deaf feet
Of a crumpled veteran
under a shopping cart
Chattering to herself
Snatching up his last
crumb of bread
Pausing forever…


Then flying off

Words By Cara Feral
Artwork by Noah Rehan

A Love Letter To A Chameleon

I admire your art of blending in
I’ve watched how you exhibit
The mastered tricks of your trade
From early antlers into a crown
Like a faerie perfecting flight
Before you have your wings
When these were Viking days
You’d allegiantly wear his bones
But for today and your role now
Just his scars will have to do

I know because I wear them too
I stash his music inside my flesh
And his song woven from flute
He is my consort and my duality
My first particle & my wave goodbye
Lets revel in this shared Bodhi
Dance forth with wine
And pull the moon
Down over our cheeks

Like two shapeshifters
Caught in each other’s gaze
I see your headlights
The deer stuck inside of you
I see your cherry picked spots
and your juicy starring roles
We’re two conjoined stars accreting
A catenary between our souls’ hips
A tangled, tentacle mess
Like when cuttlefish fuck

We both know, we can’t hide
Our khthon born skins forever
So lets uncover our smiles
And peer past the fig tree roots
Past the machinations of gender
Past the strangulations of convention
For just one glorious moment
Within the madness of these times

I see you

If I Was The Planet Mars

If I was the planet Mars
I’d take a stroll with Mercury
Tell him to slow down
We only get so many
Revolutions around this sun

If I was the planet Mars
I’d sweep Venus off her feet
Find love and forget everything
Dance with the benevolence
On wings of aspiration and youth

If I was the planet Mars
I’d have a drink with Pluto
And have a little man to man
About the value of money
And the virtue of paucity

If I was the planet Mars
I’d shake off Earth’s parasites
And tenderly hold her hand
Reassure her it’ll be alright
And that man will occult
and fade into foggy night

If I was the Planet Mars
I’d set sail with Neptune
Voyage to the centers of galaxies
Quest to find celestial treasures
Uncover wonder and mysteries

If I was the Planet Mars
I’d take a spin on Saturn’s rings
Drink from the knowledge of wisdom
That only time and age can quench
Discovering the beauty within

If I was the planet Mars
I’d pick a fight with Jupiter
Stand my ground for what’s right
Despite being overwhelmed and overmatched
Even if it means getting my teeth unattached

If I was the planet Mars
I’d break free from the Sun’s hold
And escape into the dark cold
Forge a path into the vast black
and never, ever, ever come back

This Muddy Wake

When he comes looking for me
Peering into suffused glints of shadow
Where cranky floorboards whine to nobody
In lonely fields of dead ends and sudden stops
Except my company of wind and its palpable silence

He won’t ever give up, my constant hunter
Like a wolf hot on me and my fox cradled scent
No safety in oak built canopy or snake spun rivers
My voice on constant repeat, “keep running”
Like the sun, the scared, and the prey

I am getting to that age that whenever
The wind blows just right and the moon’s
head is cocked perfectly I hear myself whicker
An aging mule in the candlelight of my bones
My rib tuned piano whispers sharper every day

Soon I’ll molt off my sun dried summer skin
And ditch the campfire and beer songs
To a cowboy’s goodbye, a wink and a smile
Knelling his shiny bell with his trusty steed
A sequin stitched requiem fallen fallow
On Fall’s fraying executioner’s dark hood

My bored out heart and overworked hands
Given to the worms, to soil, to dirt, to frost
Culled by bent beak rotting into oblivion
Praying that she’ll burst from my hollowed chest
Like a lotus seed growing from this muddy wake




Mark Of the Fawns

Here is my mark
Set upon gilded ivy
A sublunary creature
Swathed in antler and thorn
Stained holy the color
A throne for august queen
This vale of hearth
My elegant womb

This my mark of ash
Born from fire and rock
Whipsawed juniper scent
Hyacinth cracked seed
Smelt in pricked daisy blood
Swollen veins sated purple
Like split open echinacea
Or when beets fistfight

Here is my mark
Shaped by mountain
Raging river and still lake
Pocked by bird, beast
Tribulation and rapture
Engraved moments’ maws
Knelt to braves given chance


This is my mark
Cradled upon foreheads
My matchbox of bones
Trellised across lit fuse
A pine steeped sacrifice
Set aflame set a hope
An immunity renewed
My mark of fawns

Les Petites Morts vs Les Grande Peurs

It was the strangest of times and the worst of times
In a society where nip slips and partial brief nudity
Are more taboo than drones dropping bombs in Syria
The nightly news has become a lobby group for big tech
Censorship has been built into memes and paychecks
Misinformation is a synonym for lacking sponsorship
See also: Machiavellian, or priests from the Temple of Syrinx;
We lose tiny pieces of ourselves to orgasms and fear
The three greatest highs are when you get wings
The moment during climax and the instant that you die

Everything else. This. Is. Everything. Else now
Spam choked overflowing imaginary mailboxes
Of innumerable buy ones get a bunch of other ones
Free, but wait the print is so fine, a come fuck your eyes
Flaunting cuttlefish words squeezing past cracks of thought
Shrouding ink splotched false bodied tentacles attaching
To your credit card, personal info and bank accounts
Like car ownership and the stockade of traffic, road rules
To0 good to pass up get your useless shit for one low cost

Back when I was growing up it was the Bible thumpers
Going door to door saving souls and censoring free speech
Now its Big Pharma and all their disciples doing the same
Every head, bowed and eyes cast down staring, watching
Always watching like waiting for a bus that never comes
Praying for a hitch into somebody else’s imagination
Voyeurs peering zoo eyed, mouths agape and marveling
At manufactured spectacle, and lure of sideshow barking

There’s so little amount of time to fall in love every day
Sunlight is here for just so long before withering at its seams
I listen to you fall to sleep holding my thigh in your silent way
As I start humming your snore before you turn over and dream
About pursuit. Or storms or circling lions or the very last owl’s nest
How can such a few moments flit away from this mass of darkness?
If night can smother light then tell me much does a shadow weigh?
And how strong is hope when its the one thing that gets away?

I don’t use words like mentacide or mass delusion flippantly
The only change has been the policeman swapping uniforms
Back the biorhythms, back off the blues please do not burn out
We prefer that you feel the shame of your breath and fade away
Listen for the chants of the lotus, mimic its love for uncertainty
Grow from the muddy veils that hide both the widow and bride
Embrace the burning desire to get back to the now, how and whom
Where it was once believed that life glows at its brightest degree
When death shifts his awkward gaze back unto thee

New Anthology

I am pleased to announce that my poem Some Kind of Blue will be published and included in a new poetry anthology by Ingrid Wilson called, “The Anthropocene Hymnal: Songs of a self-defining Era” The description: A poetic response to the joint crises of climate change and biodiversity loss. Featuring the work of internationally-renowned and bestselling poets including Gabriela Marie Milton, Ivor Steven and Sherry Marr. Voices from five continents join in song to protest the damage we are doing to our only home, planet earth: these ‘songs of a self-defining era’ are the poems which comprise The Anthropocene Hymnal.The editor Ingrid Wilson was voted Spillwords Author of the Month in February 2021. Her poetry has been widely published both online and in print. She is the owner and editor of www.experimentsinfiction.com.If anyone is interested in preordering it from Amazon for Kindle here is the link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0993CM2PCOr if you want to skip the major retailer you can wait til July 24th and order it off Ingrid Wilson’s website www.experimentsinfiction.com...all proceeds she receives through her website will be donated to the WWF.

The Yawper and the Mute

Subtly or loudly
We green tree frogs
attenuate or project
our come fuck me calls
Sometimes it’s in the way
You move. Your thoughts
Like the way leaves lark
the wind and his shadows
Spiraling through tree boughs
and bony barked hands
As if all the shimmering
counter movements, recoils,
and serenades hide secrets
And formulas for making food
A sly cover for plunging roots
Stumbling around under ground
Like a drunk on a 500 year binge
pawing for water and nitrogen

Or the stars that burn so bright
The orbits that cling to them
Our mother of pearl strung beads
Arching into celestial necklaces
Fastened to captured hiding places
Torqued spheres of imagination
Brim bent iridescent captives
Bound with limitless potential

Niches determined by force
Like the gravity of breathing
And the sounds you make
when you drift away from me
Our hand clasped curious souls
crawl away from their human cages
Tucked behind cotton bed sheets
Snarling snored birdsong
calmed to whispering lagan
Your shipwrecked rage
lies sunken at the bottom
of my nacreous lipped nest

So howl and set it all aflame
Beat your chest, storm the gates
Somewhere deep within the z’s
I will be your deafly flitting finch
Silencing most all the scream
Chattering air mute on closed wings
Whispering our sleeping candlelight
into a bunting and wandering blaze






Photo: House Finch Photograph by Barbara Manis

My Town

I am dank morning street corners
And the cadence of an all day drizzle
Sipping on whiskey shimmering rain
A limping three stringed marionette
With one of its ashy torn frayed ropes
Dragging in vain awkwardly behind
I’m an erect middle finger to the puppeteer
In valleys full of folks sick of California
Doing their damnedest to make California here

I pride myself on my lush green forests
Then make a handsome king’s ransom
Cutting each and every one down
I create the demand, supply the supply
You can hear the bleeding sounds
of legalized heroin pulsing under my streets
One of my nick names is Track Town after all
I missed the memo that said sleeping outside
Wasn’t hip anymore and that flannels were done
After Cobain coaxed the explosive contents out
Of a nickel plated Remington 12 gauge shotgun
Rather than sell out, I’ve decided to develop away
Building condos pushing bourgeoise urban renewal
Killing my inner hippie is just business as usual

Re: Redrum

Average is the new gifted
Just look around
Noses buried
In palms of hands
Zombies walking
with minds bound

Sedentary and medicated
Pabulum entranced
Meme making
Virtual velleities
And a surprising lack
of meaningful activity

There is this blindfolded divide
Masking the glass glory holes
At the abattoir
And what’s in most Americans’
lunch bowls

A carnival of blood
Creaky carousels of subjugation
of the tortured and sentient
Wide eyed and scared
Naked and bleeding
Braised and bruised
Animal corpses splayed
On dinner plates

Cognitive dissonance
is best served well done
Tasty dishes of heads
buried in the ground
Squealing pigs in blankets
Vegan fed Bambis and Babes
Their moist tenderloins
Garnished with broccoli rabe


Steak, pork brisket, beef intestines
Cow tongues in cow asses
Fresh flank from a personal butcher
Chicken wings, chicken gizzards
Chicken cum, chicken feet
Black footed ferret testicles
Stuffed in Turducken meat

Rare Siberian tiger rump
Mink roast, minced pie
Turkey gobble, walrus
All you can ever eat
And just about
everything you can fry

Rubber band bound lobsters
Culinary Gehenna BDSM
Orgy crawfish boils
Chewy monkey brains
Barbecued in the blood of veal
Value menu genocide
Ordered take out
of a species hoodwinked
then served with fries

Scrupulously concealed
the slaughterhouse rules
One cannot record the cries
or bear witness to the atrocities
Yet one cannot go back
more than three commercials
without being sold a Big Mac

Wan souls that will only know
a life held suspended in cages
until their limbs grow around
their bars in confined spaces
They hear their only friends
dads, moms and siblings
and the one good thing
that they’ll ever know
die in abject agony
just minutes before

Please enjoy responsibly
and try not to think
about the origin
of the lives taken
Or their karmic blues
that now reside
inside of you

Solvitur Ambulando

I am the bump and grind
the tooth and nail
The beat drums of sweat
and kilograms of blood

My cherished missing parts
Spavined remainders of my sum
Strewn in ex lovers bed sheets
Dismembered in the napes of gods

Harpooned into bloated effigies
Etched into passing cloud calligraphy
Trillions of marooned cast aways
Culled by beaks of magpie and crow

Parsed into molecular sand sculptures
Infinite flecks of a shattered hourglass
Stranded in deserts of memory
Do not break unless in case of…

This moment is the accretion of
millions and millions of fractions
of an emergency realized

This is my journey
To this goddamn place
I pace just behind the edge
Or at least what’s left of me
This, my purgatory
My paradox
My gathering
My reckoning

Me and all of my familiar spirits
We are all refugees here
Souls without bodies
The unsolvable
And the undefined
Restless entities almost cracked
Our fraying strands of sanity
unraveling Zenos to zero
My angel and her suitors
My births, my love
My deaths my pain
My pride my shames
My gain my loss
My spark my dark

Just one thin line away
pleading their cases
Please God
Give me a reason
any reason

to walk across

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